Enel Green Power has received final regulatory approval to construct its groundbreaking hybrid solar and geothermal power plant in Nevada.
The renewable energy company will now move forward with its plan to construct a 24-megawatt solar installation at its Stillwater Geothermal Plant in Churchill County, Nevada. The solar farm will provide an energy supply for peak hours when the 47 MW Stillwater geothermal plant is dealing with maximum demand.
Co-generating power plants are not uncommon. However, combining two renewable energy technologies to meet power supply is unique, especially in the United States.
Most often companies will combine a renewable technology with a traditional energy source such as coal or natural gas. Coal and natural gas offer a baseload energy supply to fill the void caused by intermittencies in the power generated by winds blowing, the sun shining, or biofuels burning. General Electric's incredibly efficient Integrated Renewables Combined Cycle Power Plant offers the industry's best example.
The electricity generated at the Stillwater Hybrid facility will be sold to NV Energy. Enel Green Power is more than confident that through the integration of its baseload geothermal and peak solar capacities it will successfully meet the demand of NV Energy's customers.
Nevada Senator Harry Reid shared his own vote of confidence for this state-of-the-art facility, "I have worked hard on policies and incentives that have helped support this first-of-a-kind hybrid solar and geothermal plant in the United States. Enel Green Power has wisely and successfully married two clean renewable energy resources that Nevada has in vast abundance and provided many economic benefits to Churchill County as well as the entire state. I hope we will see more of these integrated projects."
Enel Green Power, which is a subsidiary of the Enel Group -- Italy's largest power company and the second largest utility in Europe -- has an extensive clean energy portfolio in the United States and Canada.
Currently, the clean energy branch of Enel owns and operates 70 projects in North America that generate roughly 800 MW of power. The majority of Enel Green Power's North American assets are hydropower facilities. Its two geothermal power plants are located in Nevada and were commissioned in 2009.
The company is currently research and development stage of developing a 138 MW wind facility in Burney, California and a utility-sized wind and solar facility in San Diego, California.
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